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Option Brief: Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) call volume is outpacing the intraday average so far this afternoon. Far and away the most active option is the January 2016 25-strike call, which has seen 20,320 contracts change hands -- 99% at the ask price, suggesting they were purchased. Meanwhile, implied volatility has ticked higher and volume outstrips open interest, pointing to newly bought bullish bets.
By purchasing the LEAPS to open, the speculators expect INTC to topple $25 by January 2016 options expiration. From the stock's current perch at $24.77, in-the-money territory is less than 1% away -- and accordingly, delta on the long-term call is 0.53, representing a better than 1-in-2 chance that the option will expire north of the strike. However, even if the shares stall short of $25, the most the traders will sacrifice is the initial premium paid.
Technically speaking, 2014 has not been great for Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), which has given up 4.5% year-to-date. In recent sessions, the stock has been battling overhead resistance near the $25 level.